That Hamilton Woman

Video Clips
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In a good mood

His blind eye


Directed:         Alexander Korda
Produced:       Alexander Korda
Written:          Walter Reisch
                         R.C. Sherriff

All images are


Regarded as Winston Churchill's favourite film, (possibly because Korda allowed him to write some of the dialogue) it was made during the height of World War II, and partly meant to serve as an exercise in morale-boosting amongst the British troops. One could hardly miss the obvious parallels, the Napoleonic Wars, ‘old friends like Naples’, a crazed dictator and of course appeasement. I’m sure critics would point these out as too obvious and perhaps even propaganda but this film was made in a time of war and (duh) was meant to provide a one sided view of the conflict.

But the historical content of the film (whilst impressive and stirring) is not the only factor that makes this film truly great. What about Leigh and Olivier? They made two films together before they were wed, but this one is the only one they would ever make as husband and wife. Fresh into their marriage, this film is a celebration of their real-life love. The on-screen chemistry between the two is visually apparent. The costumes and settings are lavish and eye-appealing. Vivien's close ups are remarkably beautiful and stunning.

Vivien Leigh in this film simply takes my breath away – and no I don’t necessarily mean because she is stunningly beautiful – the acting (and sub acting) which she creates is brilliant. By sub acting I mean whenever in character she plays another person from the movie (usually) Nelson. I have included a video clip to show you what I mean. Olivier is on his reliably omnipotent best – films are meant to illicit you towards the key roles – make you emphasize with them and Olivier does this brilliantly. His frustration at Naples whenever they wouldn’t allow him to dock, his anger at appeasement in the war room – the regardment of Emma in every scene.

Emma Hart (Vivien Leigh), a young woman of easy virtue, arrives in Naples to marry the son of Sir William Hamilton. It soon becomes apparent that the son has no intentions of marrying her, and so she enters into a marriage of convenience with Sir William himself. Years pass and Emma, now Lady Hamilton, meets the acquaintance of Lord Horatio Nelson (Olivier), and they embark on a thrilling affair. Emma's reputation is pulled through the mud and Nelson returns to battle Napoleon's approaching forces, as the romance rushes to it's tearful conclusion.







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That hamilton woman